Atletico came away from Stafford Rangers Marston Road with all 3 points, thanks to
an injury time penalty by Ryan Seal, though Stafford will feel aggrieved not to have
got something from the game.
Ryan Seal returned to the starting line up after his holiday, and a debut up front for
experienced striker Nick Wellecomme, combined with Rico Taylor and Sean Williams working
the flanks saw Hinckley have the better of the early exchanges. However a calamity of
errors just after the quarter hour saw Stafford take the lead. Lee Thomas underhit a
back pass to Tom Cross, and the AFC keeper placed a poor clearance against Shepherd
Machinguata and the Town striker rolled the ball into the empty net. This gave Stafford
belief and the game was more even for the rest of the half, though a superb through ball
from Darious Darkin on the half hour led to an Atletico equaliser. The Hinckley midfielder
released Seal, beating the offside trap, and guiding the ball past Conner Alderman as
he rushed out of his goal.
It was a different story for the second half with Stafford being much the better side,
controlling the midfield, winning the second ball and creating most of the attacking play.
Cross was forced to save well from Machinguata, and then he was beaten by a rebounded
clearance that hit the post and scrambled to safety. The Stafford crowd thought they
had scored the winner late on as a break away saw Ryan Blagborough ripple the net,
though it was the wrong side of the post and into the side netting. Somewhat against
the run of play AFC did score the winning goal in injury time, after Wellecomme was
clumsily brought down in the area, with the ref awarding the penalty. Seal took the
responsibility from the penalty mark and sealed the points sending Aldermann the wrong
way. Winning ugly maybe, but winning just the same.
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Stafford Town match details